2004/10/31

After the pictures, the words.

In the last months, I gave copy of 49 of my works.
Those of you who followed my daily, or about daily, presentations know already that this year, I concentrated on the painting of a serie of acrylics of which I posted copy of the first 24. I'am still working on 8 more. I call this acrylic serie my ARTSENSE collection for it accompanies or should I say, it is accompanied by a book that I titled ARTSENSE. You can read the introduction and the table of content by clicking the copy of the black rectangle coverpage of ARTSENSE that is located in the upper left corner of your display.

The ARTSENSE collection of 32 paintings goes hand in hand with the book, indeed, they both relate to the same subject: my sense of what art will be all about in the 21st century. Whow this is a word that will draw much scepticism, I bet.

So what is art going to be all about in the 21st century?
As a simple answer to that question I would point:

FIRST, to the history of art that illustrates the perdurance of an identical meaning of art for individuals and societies alike along the tens of thousands of years going back to the origin of humanity. Art has indeed played as illustrator or as diffusor, at the attention of the individuals in any societies, of the worldview of those who detained the knowledge and power in those societies. This rule has been valid from animist societies to religious societies. In those times, artists were considered as technicians. Painters were considered as image making technicians obeying the orders of their commissioners.
That was bound to break down with the demise of the religious age at the contact of the first emerging abstract system of thinking that would give all those who learn to practice its rational inner working the power of self determination, the power of free examination . This is when artists started to paint for themselves, expressing their personal ideas and feelings about reality.

SECOND, the intellectual power of self determination allows who has this power to devise his own worldview. Artistic substance is about the peeling of reality and this requires the adequate knowledge. Sure enough, as in earlier times, the visual artist had to master a technique at rendering visual images. But the most striking difference with his peers in earlier times, is that the visual artists is not any further being told the substance of the image to be represented. In other words, the painter now has also to fill in the content of the image.

Sure enough, conceiving a whole new worldview is not the same as peeling an orange. Peeling reality is indeed far more complex and requires a very different set of knowledge than what was traditionally required from a painter. So we should thus not be surprised that painters experienced a rude awakening labouring after the watering down of imposed subjects. Their rejection of past ways of doing after the first world war did not automatically lead to the conception and the birth of artistic substance. Most of their pregnancies along the 20th century have only been nervous pregnancies that drove many of them into psychic breakdowns.

THIRD, after accepting this basic fact that art is the representation of the current worldview, the idea of peeling our present reality cries for the knives and brushes of present day knowledge. Do visual artists have such a kind of knowledge? It is a given fact that most don't and are thus left with only 2 alternatives: or give images of past worldviews, or try to impose bullshit as art. Both alternatives have nothing to do with art creation. Images of past worldviews are commodities for the interior decoration market and bullshit should be reserved for the nourishment of dirt.
So what? What is art to be in the 21st century?
I have an advice. Go check the images at the sites that I link to under the title SCIENTIFIC IMAGING in the column on the left. They are images by present day people of knowledge, I mean by scientists. Are those artistic works? Most are not really art works but they are far better at giving us a sense of what art will be in the 21st century than most visual creations given by artists. Sure enough, science is only one approach of knowledge, the other is philosophy and both sciences and philosophy will continue to interact upon each other to generate knowledge.
I gave a personal shot at trying to render artistic images of our times in my acrylics collection. It's a shot, how far was I from the objective, well all of you can decide about that.

2004/10/28

Modern art 49: ARTSENSE 024


Acryl024. The dawn of order.

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The slide-show of all the acrylics of my ARTSENSE serie has been installed, if interested click
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Forms, shapes, color harmonics, textures, rythms, fluctuations, waves and patterns are discernable in the general confusion and will eventually go reinforcing themselves. But the road is still long to reach their complete being, many accidents are still possible that could derail the process in the making.

Irreversibility shows us going forward and uncertainty shows us at the mercy of influences that are out of our sight and out of our ability to forecast.

2004/10/27

Modern art 48: ARTSENSE 023


Acryl023. Order creeping out of chaos.

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The slide-show of all the acrylics of my ARTSENSE serie has been installed, if interested click
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In the eighties, scientists visualized reality as a process of unending change. This was without a doubt a radical departure from the traditional approach of causality that we inherited from the Greek scientists and philosophers. Remember Aristotle's “ultimate mover”, conceptualized as a logical stop to unending causalities. Well, the cyclical movement from chaos to order acted as a kind of stop to the traditional vision of a mover behind a cause.

It seems as if the need to stop unending causality disappeared simply as out of the absence of thought for what moved the cycle of chaos to order. What was indeed behind the chaos-order cycle? Was it its internal causalities, in that case the ultimate mover would remain solidly entranched in the observer's psyche? Or was it some kind of acceptance of the old Chinese philosophic concept of Tao that gradually found its road in physical and chemistry hypotheses?

Ilya Prigogine the 1977 Belgian Nobel prize laureate of Chemistry posited that irreversibility and uncertainty are two fundamental features of our universe. Irreversibility is the property of an event which makes reverting back to the state before the occurrence of the event impossible, irreversibility thus implies a movement that goes forward. Uncertainty implies that change is not given by a pre-existing mover but by the reality of the forces on the ground in the system and their environment at the crucial moment of change. Taken together, irreversibility and uncertainty lead to the concept of self-organization.

In Wikipedia self-organization is referred to as a process in which the internal organization of a system, normally an open system, increases automatically without being guided or managed by an outside source. Self-organizing systems typically (though not always) display emergent properties.

Here we are thus with a definition of reality that corresponds to the vision of traditional Chinese philosophy.


2004/10/24

Modern art 47: ARTSENSE 022


Acryl022. Hommage to Vincent.

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The slide-show of all the acrylics of my ARTSENSE serie has been installed, if interested click
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Man, what a trip his life has been. The guy started to paint, aound his 32nd birthday, somehow as a reaction to what he saw in the art market where he was acting as an agent for a Hollandish art broker. Nothing has changed since the time he decided to leave the art business. The game is always the same. Some have available money that they hope to multiply. Imagine, only imagine for a moment how those guys are thinking. Buying cheap and then hoping to sell for a high multiplicator some time later.

Where is the artistic vision in that game? There is none, there is simply no way that speculators could envision future worldviews in present visual art works. First they have no clue about what art is all about. Art is something objective, it's the representation today of what our human worldview is shaping into. For sure this worldview will be visible, absolutely visible, only after all have interiorized that worldview... Secondly they have no clue about where our world is leading, but this is the absolute subject of art works so how could they possibly be able to detect art works?

Art is not only works of art.
Art is a question of life. It has nothing to do with the mastery of a technique. It has all to do with the ideas and the understanding of the waves of human reality. While Van Gogh who was in crisis tried to find peace in colors, others were consciently focusing on sales. Here is a world of difference: selling on the market now and putting out a vision of what is in the making now. Churning out a vision of what's in the making is depending on living through what's going on in the present. An art work is thus a result of the creator's daily life. If his life is focused on the market, he'll surely have no experience at all of the wave of life, instead he'll for sure know what sells. But let's be more to the point. Van Gogh was living very frugaly, with small money and was thus confronted with the real life conditions of his time. He knew something about misery, he had spent much time with subsistence farmers in Brabant and then with coal miners in Hainaut near Mons and later with artists in Paris. He surely had not the same analytic vision as Marx or Poincare and Curie but he surely had a feel of what daily life was all about. He also travelled long distances, when he could afford to pay, by train, otherwise by foot. Vincent's vision of late 19th century has to be found there. How many critics took the pain to understand what he went through during his life?

Van Gogh was like a sensor of life, totally immersed in his time. He had no grip on greed and prestige, this did not interest him and he thus was open.
His work was about the wave of life in his time. My hommage to Vincent.

2004/10/23

Modern art 46: ARTSENSE 021


Acryl021. Bestowed with grace.

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The slide-show of all the acrylics of my ARTSENSE serie has been installed, if interested click
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There are basically two ways to approach reality.
- One is for the observer to position himself at a great distance from what he observes. By so doing, he gains a broad and all encompassing vision of the observed that allows him to understand how the observed changes.
- The other is for the observer to position himself inside what he observes. By doing so, he can zoom on specific areas of the observed and gain some understanding about the inner working of the observed but he so misses to see how the observed itself changes....

Zooming in direction of the microscopic let's one discover the internal working of big ensembles. The first degree image registered on the eyes retina, gives us to see one or more interacting ensembles. After selection of one of those sub-ensembles, one can zoom into it and discover that its internal workings is constituted by smaller interacting ensembles and so on till our zooming instruments don't allow us to visualize deeper. Our instruments will eventually be upgraded and we'll get visuals of a few zooming multiplications but will we ever reach the starting point? Some scientists would like us to believe that we already have or that we'll eventually reach that point. But where is the proof?

Zooming out in the direction of the macroscopic let's one discover that our first degree retinal image is only a small component of larger ensembles. With each zoom-in multiplication we discover our relativity and also our incapacity at reaching the end of the observable. Some scientists would like us to believe that we will reach the ending point of all possible zoom-in and out. But where is the proof? Present day science goes so far as what present day zooming techniques allow us to see. We believe in our capacity at theorizing but we should by now have recognized that our theories have to be adapted each time we reach a higher level of zooming. The idea that we could reach the starting and ending point of the observable seems like an illusion of our self-importance or of our eternity. By comparison, philosophical wisdom along human history remains constant: humanity is seen as passing, humanity's vision is seen as limited and only meditation is seen as reaching out to the whole, to the one.

Words lead us into abstractions out of reach of visual images and thus are finally only very weak instruments at communication. Visual images, I believe, contain an easier access to the observers' inner potential vision.

In "Bestowed with grace", I give my vision about the pattern of life that I best see as grace in movement.

2004/10/22

Modern art 45: ARTSENSE 020


Acryl020. Creative chaos.

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The slide-show of all the acrylics of my ARTSENSE serie has been installed, if interested click
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Our reality is ultimately no more than a process of change along the dimension of passing time. Nothing can be called upon that would explain with some scientific validity the stopping of time, nor as starting point nor as ending point. The only limitation of time we can think of is the time of a given thing, a given process, our universe for example or our capitalist rationalism. But all those are no more than moments of wider cycles.

It is not very difficult to understand that our ideological model of capitalist rationalism only corresponds to a moment in the time of human ideological cycles. We know for a sure fact that it emerged out of European primitive violence. Most people have never given a thought to the possibility of its extinction but it makes no doubt at all that capitalist rationalism will eventually be overtaken by another hegemonic ideological form. The cycle of our universe is another matter that is far less known and also known by far less people. The big bang is its starting point and astro-physicists of NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) reveal the universe is 13.7 billion years old, with an uncertainty of only 200 million years. The calculation of its ending point is out of our reach. Observations by WMAP indeed recognize our limitations. Real matter, hard visible material in the form of atoms that we know about only represents 4 % of all that is in our universe. Nobody has the slightest idea about the 23 % representing Dark matter nor about the 73 % representing Dark energy...

We humans came to believe in many lofty thoughts but one thing is for sure, reality can't be reduced to one moment on the continuum of time. A moment will irrevocably be overtaken by another moment and thus moments have to be considered as particules of time at our image of particules of matter.

For most Westerners, the moment in our history corresponding to the diffusion of capitalist rationalism in every corner of our societies (1950-1980), appears as being our normality, our reality. Eating cabbage or spagetti means indeed going to the store or the restaurant. Driving to a friend's home is done by car. Everything is paid for with money that we earn working for an office or a factory. This is our never questionned human reality in our advanced societies. "Cela va de soi". But this reality just can't continue much further. Economically advanced societies represent barely 15% of the world population and the other 85% is banging on the door... But to reach our level of development we the "developed" 15% have already very much initiated human extinction! Here we are thus confronted with two fundamental facts that are igniting a dynamic of chaos in the organization and the working of human societies around the world: 85% of the world population want to reach the development of the West.. Western development initiated the mechanism of human extinction.

"Creative chaos" is about our entering into a period of chaos that hopefully should lead to a fundamental rebalancing of the centers of power and the collective organization of humankind. The painting shows forces converging to crack the existing stability.

2004/10/20

Modern art 44: ARTSENSE 019


Acryl019. This bacteria has a gargantuan appetite.

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The slide-show of all the acrylics of my ARTSENSE serie has been installed, if interested click
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Nature.

Nature the beautifull dream of romantics is not really romantic. Survival and reproduction are its primary concerns. A little bear is so cute is it not, but his mother has to kill to let him survive and we humans are no better, even if we don't eat meat, we have to terminate the life of those plants that we want to nourish us.

Human societies developed worldviews, made rules, built systems and shaped cultures to soften the rule of nature in order to protect the individuals so as to favor societal development. But along the centuries our memories diluted and we developed many lofty thoughts far from reality (nature). From whatever perspective we look at ourselves, we cannot but recognize that our lofty thoughts do change nothing to this basic reality that we are still animals who convert to the rules of nature as soon as a cultural breakdown occurs. Contemporary examples abound.

It seems to me that an honest assessment of our human condition should thus be our first preoccupation. We are part of nature, we are one of its components. But the rationality of the logic of capital led us to believe that we are outside of nature, that nature is at our disposal. In other words, we live now in the illusion that our culture has syphooned us out of nature and that it then should have bestowed on us the shadow of the "ultimate mover", god in Aristotle's speak.

Our illusions about what we are all about, that is one of my most frightening thoughts. From those illusions we derive our barbarity. The more we advance on the road of our development, the more living species are eliminated from our earth, the more dammages we inflict to ourselves, the higher is becoming the probability that our actions are preparing our own extinction.

Are we really so short-sighted?

Time has come to rediscover ourselves. We are components of nature. Seen from far in the universe, we are no more than bacteries ported on the waves of life on earth.
Poets gave us images of ridicule behaviors. The frog that is sucking air till he gets the size of a bull for example. We are good at this kind of ridiculing those we think of as our inferiors but we don't see the straw in our own eyes.

2004/10/19

Modern art 43: ARTSENCE 018


Acryl018. The lacemaker.

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The slide-show of all the acrylics of my ARTSENSE serie has been installed, if interested click
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Lacemakers nowadays live in China, India or other countries paying less than half a dollar an hour. For sure, some housewifes in the Western world still practice lacemaking, but it's not to put bread on the table.

I spent on average 50 hours on each of my acrylic ARTSENSE serie and I feel some kind of sympathy for modern lacemakers. My situation is different for sure, I'm not obliged to sell out to eat this evening. But if I was in that kind of a situation, I'm not sure that I would even reach the level of wages that are given to MacDonald clercks.

Art is a dead-end economic proposition in rational capitalist societies. It was already the case in Van Gogh's time and it seems not having gotten better since, it seems that it even got worse with the absorption of absolutely everyone in the sphere of influence of the logic of capital. Van Gogh could survive in his time in Provence, there was always a subsistance farmer to give him a piece of bread, some cheese, a glass of red wine and who let him sleep on the hay in the barn. There was always a country doctor to accept to help him out. All that is gone now. There are no subsistance farmers anymore in any part of the Western world, they have been taken over by industrial agribusiness concerns and doctors are speeding from one customer to another if it is not the customer who has to speed to go to the doctor's office.

Nowhere in the Western world can one find a remaining open soul ready to share with a stranger. Accumulation of material possessions freed the genie of fear, fear to lose... I experienced the last years of subsistance farming in Belgium in the fifties. Farmers walking behind the horses pulling their ploughs had all the time in the world. When someone appeared in sight, they stopped the horses and went for a talk. I rediscovered an identical relationship with Chinese farmers in the nineties, they have all the time in the world, they observe what's going on around them, they like to chat and to share what is on the table. They joke and laugh, they seem a lot more happy than the people who have to pay monthy installments for what they have already consumed.

Our societies experience extreme difficulties at recognizing artworks. They are in search of merchandises that generate immediate financial returns. Nowadays, the nearest to a visual art work is an interior design merchandise that is known, accepted and integrated in the collective psyche. A Van Gogh print for example. One hundred and twenty years after his death critics, gallerists, curators and other art specialists eventually came to recognize what the guy brought to the visual art scene of his time but let us never forget that during his life he never could sell one painting. So today Van Gogh's colors, lines and vision is accepted and prints of his works can be seen everywhere. His original oils are out of price, they are worth a lot more than their weight in gold... What an incredible misery!

2004/10/14

About art blogs

NEED YOUR COMMENTS, NEED YOUR COMMENTS, NEED YOUR COMMENTS
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I just posted on my other blog "In the air of our times" about what is an art blog.

I wrote the following:
"""Ok guys, reading all of you ART BLOGGERS, it appears as if art blogs were the only preserve of art commentators.

My take is on art creation.
I feel that ART BLOGS cover 3 different categories:
- ART CREATION by artists
- ART CRITIQUE by commentators,...
- ART MARKET by gallerists, merchants,...
Time has come to take back from the commentators the label ART BLOGS."""

In the same post "what is an art blog" (via Todd Gibson from "On the floor") I link to an article by Tyler Green about ART BLOGS. Green is a critic and his words are thus about the sole aspect of CRITIQUE. But he says something quite interesting:
"""I have some friends who write and read literary and book-world blogs. They've had a far greater impact on the book industry than art blogs have on the art industry. For starters, there are a lot more of them. I'm not really sure why there are so many more lit-bloggers than art bloggers—maybe art folks are too busy swilling white wine out of plastic cups."""

Thanks Tyler for this honest admission, your point is indeed crucial. Now a question. Are your
friends who "write and read literary and book-world blogs" not CREATORS before being COMMENTATORS?
This distinction is essential I feel.
For, are we primarily interested to read comments about creations or are we primarily interested to read about the creator's take on his creations?

I place my bet on the creator.
For the first time in history, the artist has access to a technique that allows him to speak publicly about his work. For my part the choice, between the voice of the creator or the voice of the commentator, makes no doubt whatsoever. I chose the voices of Van Gogh, picasso, Breton, Hundertwasser and all those anonymous creators' voices that today chat, blog and write on the net. Who
remembers about nineteen century critics?

Now don't misrepresent my outburst, a good critique, that means one that shines some knowledge over a creation or over a creator, is always welcome. But sadly to say, knowledge is so hard to come by...


If you know about a visual artist 's blog, please let me know, I 'll post a link. Thanks.

2004/10/12

Modern art 42: ARTSENSE 017


Acryl017. The pianist.

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The slide-show of all the acrylics of my ARTSENSE serie has been installed, if interested click
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My wife Xiaohong is a professional pianist. I often paint while she plays classical music. Listening her play is relaxing, it helps me to forget everything else.

In this composition I try to relate in visual terms my feeling of her at the piano.

2004/10/11

Modern art 41: ARTSENSE 016


Acryl015. Organic life in primitive soup.

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The slide-show of all the acrylics of my ARTSENSE serie has been installed, if interested click
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The theory of evolution is universally accepted in Europe and in China, the two places where I spent my initial 50 years. I had never seen someone seriously questionning this theory and I also had never read a study questionning the wisdom of this theory. So my surprise was not small when after living in the US, one of the first shocking things I discovered was that a significant portion of the population rejected this theory for creationism. I had never heard of creationism nor in Europe nor in China so my surprise was great indeed.

In other places along this book, I approach the differenciation between the Greek and Chinese civilizational building blocks and conclude that the Chinese were in no particular need for a logic of the gods. The axioms founding their civilization contain an ample body of logic explaining what reality is all about and how things change. Civilizations that find their foundational building blocks in the Middle-East don't have this luxury, they need to recourse to an outside mover in order to explain reality and change. For Aristotle holds it as an axiom that there cannot be an infinite regress of causes and effects. "That which is the logical starting point of infinite change must be an unchanging substance, causing change but not being subject to change". From this point in the reasonning there is no escape, the "unchanging substance", the "ultimate mover" will be called god.
This is for the conceptualization of Western civilizational building blocks but the "Great Enlightenment" or the rationality of capitalism, after shaking those civilizational building blocks to their roots, threw them overboard and replaced them.


For sure, the rationality of capitalism is only functional, it never defined how to handle the ontological question of Aristotle's "ultimate mover". This is without any doubt the most fundamental weakness of rationality but I believe that being only a functional system of thinking, it had never the conceptual tools to answer that question. Only recently, has science progressed to the point that an epistemological answer is becoming possible to this question of the "ultimate mover". And what is absolutely amazing, in my eyes, is that this becomes possible just at the moment when Western rationality rejoins the Chinese civilizational building blocks.

Science now conceives of reality as a process of transformations. The big bang is seen as the explosion of concentrated energy of a passed universe. This is then followed by a continued expansion of the resulting universe. Life emerges later in the form of unicellular organisms as the result of chemical reactions ignited by "accidental" energy that will expand their complexity by uniting into multi-cellular organisms. My piece "Organic life in primitive soup" is my vision of multi-cellular organisms in competitive growth and lurching towards more complexity.

2004/10/05

Modern art 40: ARTSENSE 015


Acryl015. The snake.

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The slide-show of all the acrylics of my ARTSENSE serie has been installed, if interested click
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"The snake" is a follow up of "Hot summer landscape". It's the vision of a nearby, very close "scape" on a rapid, with a snake, in the mountains of Yanching 100 miles west of Beijing.This painting is a vision from my memory of an unforgetable moment. I was jumping from stone to stone down a rapid when suddenly I saw a snake crawling in parallel at a distance of 2-3 meters. Suffice to say that my jumping had instantly been frozen. I was there trying to keep my balance in the middle of the roaring water, the snake had mimicked my freezing and was staring at me. What to do?

"The snake" is my vision of that particular moment, me and the snake frozen and staring at each other. I did not panic, I was not afraid, I was frozen trying to detect what were the intentions of the snake and I had a crystal clear sense that the snake also was not afraid, only waiting to see what would be my intentions. How long a time this starring at each other took, I don't know, I never wear a watch, but I remember the feeling that it was not a very short time. The snake was head-high pointed in my direction, her eyes in mine. She was projecting peace, power, beauty and harmony. I did not detect any aggressivity, only power and also a kind of pharaonic beauty. In my mind I had a clear certainty that if I made only a slight movement in her direction, I would be injected her venom.

Frozen, at a very slow pace I succeeded to drag one foot towards a stone on my back and amazingly, at the same pace as mine the snake retreated. We both continued our synchronized and slow retreat always facing each other without an instant ralaxing our staring at each other and when we were at a distance of 8-10 meters, we both turned our backs and left the scene.

Aggressivity is not pervasing in nature. It is a reaction of protection of one's territory and of one's family. And attacks by one specy on another are limited to food collection. Animals don't kill for the pleasure, they strictly limit their killing to their needs for food or to the need for their protection. Only humans kill for other reasons than food collection and protection. It should thus come as no surprise that animals are weary of human actions. I have this gut feeling that animals are able to sense our intentions and are thus capable to preempt them by biting us in self-defense. I experienced this feeling with the snake but I had already experienced it many times earlier with dogs. If you have no intentions to harm them and if you are not afraid, they will not be afraid and they will not harm you. I experienced the same in reverse once in the Dallas zoo. A great ape in front of his showcase was looking at us and at a given moment he started to drum his chest in front of us. I answered him by drumming my own chest. I never saw faster reaction, the ape was pounding the window with all his might, as if he wanted to kill me. Later I learned that apes drum their chest to show that they are the strongest and answering them by drumming your own chest is like saying, no you are not the strongest, I'am the strongest. I had caused the anger of the monkey and had he bitten me, I would have been responsible of ignorance.

2004/10/02

Modern art 39: ARTSENSE 014


Acryl014. Hot summer landscape.

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The slide-show of all the acrylics of my ARTSENSE serie has been installed, if interested click
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Landscape painting in Western Europe appeared roughly around 1550 after the first gold and silver loated from South America started to circulate on the old continent. This period saw an incredible increase in means of payment that were put in circulation following the plundering of the treasures of the incas and other American societies. It's difficult for 21st century minds to imagine how big the impact of this plundering has been on European societies. What is for sure is that it changed the face of Europe and its future road.

For one, the ownership of immense material richnesses escaped the coffers of the religious hierarchy and orders. The immediate consequence of this central fact has been that the newly assembled private fortunes began spending lavishly on mansions and castles. The new rich wanted to show off their richnesses, bricks and stones assembled for eyes to see. This simple and basic economic reality engendered one of the most important cultural shifts in all the history of the European civilization. Private propriety, private ownership appeared indeed to shape the appearance of the individual in the other people's minds and thus the perception developed and generalized that individual well being was intimatelly related to material possessions. The cult of individualism was born that would ultimately overtake the cult organized by the church.This newly born individualism created the desire to acquire the symbols of religious power for private individual pleasure. The mansions and castles were a first shadowing of the cathedrals and palaces and once there, they had to be filled. Within the span of less than a century paintings, sculpures, mirrors, tapestries, rugs, and so on became all highly praised luxury commodities.
Those new rich wanted paintings representing the immediate environment of their mansions in a realist style at the image of the religious paintings that were hanging in the cathedrals and painters delivered thus for centuries in classical realism.

New technologies and the deepening of rationalism eventually called for the overthrow of the classical realist forms. Van Gogh, Gauguin, the impressionists, ... answered that call. Finally, after the 1st world war, painters wanted to overthrow the first degree reality given by our eyes. But what to put instead. Three quarters of a century later, this question has still not been answered satisfactorily.

My personal view is that visual arts need to go back to their founding "raison d'etre": representing the signs of our society's worldview in the making. "Hot summer landscape" is my vision of a landscape with its internal life and its external connections to the vaster world. This is surely not the representation of a first degree seeing. But seeing is far more than the image attained through the lenses of the camera or of the eyes. Seeing is that image + a lot more. It is not as if we were empty machines only seeing what our eyes-camera give us to see. Far from that. We are indeed the result of our culture, of our accumulated knowkedge and thus what we see is far more than the first degree image reflected in our eyes.
What we see is a visual perception by our complete being: camera-eyes + culture + knowledge + feelings.